Friday, November 30, 2007

RIP Evil Knievel

I loved the Evil Knievel specials in the Seventies. Big events.
Conservative Media
The media is conservative. The Rush Limbaugh effect is apparently changing the meaning of words. We need the fairness doctrine back.

As linguist George Lakoff points out in his landmark book Whose Freedom?, humans think with the synapses and neural circuitry of their brains, and that such circuits, "once established, do not change quickly or easily."

"When a word of phrase is repeated over and over for a long period of time, the neural circuits that compute its meaning are activated repeatedly in the brain," Lakoff analyzes. "As the neurons in those circuits fire, the synapses connecting the neurons in the circuits get stronger, and the circuits may eventually become permanent, which happens when you learn the meaning of any word in your fixed vocabulary. Learning a word physically changes your brain, and the meaning of that word becomes physically instantiated in your brain. For example, the word 'freedom,' if repeatedly associated with radical conservative themes, may be learned not with its traditional progressive meaning, but with a radical conservative meaning. 'Freedom' is being redefined brain by brain."

For those old enough to remember school desks made of wood, remember writing your name (or some other words) on them in ballpoint pen, then retracing the letters over and over until a permanent groove had been cut into the wood? Metaphorically, that's exactly what Lakoff is talking about.

The republicans do not want the fairness doctrine back. They are working to stop the democrats from passing a new one.

But it's the mounting fear among habitual on-air liars such as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and their ilk which brings us to the recent furor over claims that Democrats in Congress want to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine" ... and which inspired Rep. Mike Pence (R-Corporatocracy) to introduce H.R. 2905, the so-called "Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2007," which Pence has vowed to attach to other legislation if it doesn't pass on its own.

The Act seems simple enough: "Notwithstanding section 303 or any other provision of this Act or any other Act authorizing the [Federal Communications] Commission to prescribe rules, regulations, policies, doctrines, standards, or other requirements, the Commission shall not have the authority to prescribe any rule, regulation, policy, doctrine, standard, or other requirement that has the purpose or effect of reinstating or repromulgating (in whole or in part) the requirement that broadcasters present opposing viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance, commonly referred to as the 'Fairness Doctrine', as repealed in General Fairness Doctrine Obligations of Broadcast Licensees, 50 Fed. Reg. 35418 (1985)

Look what republican Tony Perkins tells the liberals.

Historically, when the Fairness Doctrine was in effect, many stations chose to avoid issues programming altogether." Family Research Council's Tony Perkins stated bluntly, "If the left wants equal time to express its views on the radio or television, they have the liberty to do so by starting their own programs and shows."

Perhaps the liberals should start there own shows. Read the whole thing. Caution may not be work safe. It is from Adult Video News. Hat Tip to Avedon.
Mine Goes to Eleven

I just installed tracking software to see how many hits I get and the first day mine went up to eleven. I am clearly louder than everyone else. Mine goes up to eleven.
My Goodness
Thief drives off with 450 kegs of beer. Stolen from the historic St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin. How does some one dispose of all that beer? It would take me at least two weeks to drink that much.
Palm Springs Skyline Trail

My House!!!, originally uploaded by Cobber99.

A great article about this trail in the Press-Enterprise about this trail. There are some very dedicated hikers on this trail.

It's considered one of the most difficult and dangerous hikes in Southern California because of the elevation gain and lack of shade and water. Also, temperatures on the desert floor in the summer can be 100 degrees higher than in the mountains in the winter.
Kaicener has hiked it 236 times. Sabia has hiked it 235 times. They are one-two in an unofficial competition for most trips up the trail. That's the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest almost 65 times or walking from Los Angeles to New York City.

There seem to be quite a few hiker rescued after getting lost on this trail because you can take a tramway up to the top. Hiking can be dangerous business.

When it enters Mount San Jacinto State Park, it is not maintained and therefore not a trail, said Jerry Frates, the park superintendent.

In the summer, hikers are often unprepared for the heat and in the winter they are often not ready for ice at higher elevations, he said.

As the trail has become more popular in recent years, at least two hikers have died and rescues have increased, he said. There were at least five helicopter rescues this summer, up from two or three last year, he said.

"It's a very dangerous place to hike when you don't plan it or you haven't done it before," Frates said.

Click through it is a good article with a nice little video too.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Death Valley Spirit Rock

Death Valley Spirit Rock, originally uploaded by unlv_designer.

I saw a link to an article about these rocks over at clusterflock. Check it out. The rocks move by themselves.

Public Service Announcement

Truth in Humor
click this
Why Do Republicans Hate Wedding Business
From the Baltimore Sun. By denying same sex couples the right to marry, the government is limiting the wedding industry.

A booming wedding industry could swell Maryland's budget by millions if gays were permitted to wed, according to a university report released yesterday

The study, by UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, estimates that spending on gay nuptials could top $280 million the first three years, generating $14 million in tax revenue during that time.

While the state would see some reductions in other tax revenue, including income, transfer and inheritance taxes, the study concludes that extending marriage benefits to gays could result in a net gain of $3.2 million a year.

I think the business side of this should be played up. It won't bring many people to our side, but it will bring some. It should be fun to watch the Maryland Legislature fight this one out.

Both sides of the debate are preparing for a battle in the General Assembly starting in January. In September, Maryland's highest court upheld the state law defining marriage as between a man and woman. Several lawmakers plan to push legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, while pledge to back a proposal to ban it in the state's constitution.

The Williams Institute report not only makes a fiscal argument for extending marriage rights to Maryland's growing number of same-sex couples. It also assumes state lawmakers will permit out-of-state residents to marry here. The study estimates that half of Maryland's 15,600 same-sex couples would marry, and that many more would flock here to tie the knot, tourism dollars in hand.

Hiking News
Washington Trails Association has a new website check it out.

Good article on the Grand Canyon.

You are never too old to hike.

Unfortunately a hiker fell to his death in Sadona, AZ.
A good article about the two men that the tree fell on in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Media Bias
Media bias in college football at the Daily Howler.

Kos on Klein.

Glenn Greenwald does not want to insult stenographers.

Media Matters; Jameson Foser

Jon Swift teaches journalism 101.

Read the Carpetbagger, because I said so.
Rather Clear
I saw this segment on Keith Olbermann's show last night. Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley does not mince words. It is rather clear what the president ordered was a federal crime. Go watch the video at Crooks and Liars.

Olbermann: “With or without this new law, suppose one of the anti-wiretapping civil lawsuits succeeds, what does that legal victory actually mean then in terms of stopping the government or punishing Alberto Gonzales or any other top officials who were responsible for this?”

Turley: “Well, it can mean a lot and that’s one of the reasons there’s a lot of people, both Democrats and Republicans, who don’t want to see it happen. They don’t want a court to say that the president did something that is a federal crime. That’s why they’re trying to get all these cases thrown out of court because it is rather clear that what the president ordered was a federal crime, clearly defined in federal law. But that causes a problem because many of the Democratic leaders and Republican leaders have promised each other that they would not start impeachment proceedings, but when a federal judge says the president committed a crime, it’s pretty darn hard to ignore that.”

I am not sure why Pelosi took impeachment off the table.
Beer Prices Rising
First it was the hops going up. Now it is barley. Corn subsidies are making farmers plant more corn and less hops and barley.

Hops and barley production have been hit by poor growing conditions and a loss of acreage dedicated to the crops, according to the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colo.

Adding to the problem is the growing demand for biofuels, which takes corn away from livestock feed. That spurs farmers to tap barley for feed, reducing the amount available for breweries.

It seems biofuels are not only going to have a negative impact on developing nations but also beer drinkers at home.

Corn based biofuels are also very inefficient in terms of reducing green house gases.

ar from having a substantial impact on reducing net emissions of GHG, Wolf says, European rapeseed oil-based diesel and U.S. corn-based ethanol have in fact only made small contributions - 13% less than conventional diesel and 18% less than petrol, respectively. As we've argued at length in several past posts, most biofuel schemes would have a devastating impact on developing, food-importing countries:

Very Strange
The investigation into the human remains found in Hot Springs takes a new turn.
FBI agents were called in. A seven member FBI evidence recovery team from Little Rock secured the scene and collected evidence.

Meantime, Hot Springs Police continue their investigation into the murders of two women. Both women were found last spring, along a creek in secluded locations off a stream that runs between Bald Knob Mountain Road and Westinghouse Drive.

Fallen Hiker
One of the two hikers that had a tree fall on them died yesterday.
He heard a crash, got knocked down and when he went to get back up, he went to look for his buddy and found his buddy underneath a tree with his head against a rock and no pulse, not breathing," said Frank Waterhouse of the Wild Basin Lodge.[...]
Officials from Rocky Mountain National Park say additional trees have fallen down due to high winds in the area.

"Winds are not uncommon, but the fact a tree has blown over and hit an individual is very rare indeed," said Larry Frederick of Rocky Mountain National Park.

My condolences to the family.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Your Inner European is Irish!

Sprited and boisterous!
You drink everyone under the table.
A Tree Falls

8-10-2007-22, originally uploaded by MistiJ.

Picture of the Wild Basin Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. A tree fell on a hiker in this area of the park today. I have seen a tree in the Rockies(not in the park though)and it is hard to describe the power and the fury of a large tree falling. It started with a few small cracklin' noises. Then a fury of cracks, a roaring crash, without time to react,the branches splintered and flew in a cloud of dust. My hopes and prayers go out to my fellow hiker.

Time Is A Republican Tool
Time has almost printed a retraction.
In the original version of this story, Joe Klein wrote that the House Democratic version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) would allow a court review of individual foreign surveillance targets. Republicans believe the bill can be interpreted that way, but Democrats don't.

That is not what Joe Klein actually wrote but lets see what the bill says.
(1) IN GENERAL - Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a court order is not required for electronic surveillance directed at the acquisition of the contents of any communication between persons that are not known to be United States persons and are reasonably believed to be located outside the United States for the purpose of collecting foreign intelligence information, without respect to whether the communication passes through the United States or the surveillance device is located within the United States.

See the bill says a court order is not required. Time apparently wants to paint the Democratic party as weak on terrorism, a wrong but ongoing republican theme.Now let us see what Glenn has to say.

So to Time, Klein's so-called "reporting" error" wasn't that he falsely described the bill. No; describing the bill accurately isn't the role of a journalist. Klein's only "reporting error" was that he only wrote down what one side said (the Republicans). He forgot to write down what the Democrats said. Now that the Editors noted that the Democrats disagree, everything is fixed. Their job is done. That's what they just said about explicitly as it can be said. And they don't even realize that saying this is a profound indictment on what they do. They think that's what they're supposed to do.

I can't recall a recent incident that has shone as much bright light on the ugly, vapid, propagandistic practices of our national media. The more they speak, the more they reveal what they are.

UPDATE: Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents' Dinner:

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!
So few of them thought that was funny because they thought he was describing what they really are supposed to do -- what they do actually do -- and what is funny about that? Just compare Colbert's description to Time's claimed understanding of what it is supposed to do.

Sound or Unsound
Greg Sargent talks media narrative.

A couple of other things that distinguish these two polls: The Zogby one is an online poll, a notoriously unreliable method, while the Gallup one is a telephone poll. And, as Charles Franklin of observed yesterday, the Zogby poll is completely out of sync with multiple other national polls finding Hillary with a lead over the GOP candidates. The Zogby poll actually found that Mike Huckabee is leading Hillary in a national matchup. The Gallup findings were in line with most other surveys.

I don't need to tell you which poll got all the media attention. Do I?

The Zogby survey was covered repeatedly on CNN, earned coverage from MSNBC, Fox News, and Reuters and was covered by multiple other smaller outlets.


Worse, the Zogby poll was covered with few mentions either of its dubious methodology or of the degree to which its findings don't jibe with other surveys. Bottom line: The Zogby poll was considered big news because many in the political press are heavily invested in the Hillary-is-unelectable narrative for all kinds of reasons that have little to do with a desire to, you know, practice journalism.

Joe Klein Republican Tool
If Joe Klein was not part of the republican info structure, he would have been canned. They need him to be a sensible liberal so they can paint actual liberals as outside the mainstream. He seems to be digging his hole deeper. Glenn Greenwald has been all over him "Klein has now written five separate times about his FISA debacle, and is further away than ever from having any idea what he's even talking about" It gets better.

The result of all this "nosing around": "I've reached no conclusions." And he then unleashes this:

I have neither the time nor legal background to figure out who's right.
That's been the point all along (although one doesn't need "legal background" -- just basic reading skills and a molecule of critical thought).

It seems every week or so there is an article about how real journalism is better because of editors and publishers ensure that there is appropriate fact checking. So Jane over at Firedoglake decided to track down said editor.

I’ve spent all morning on the phone trying to figure out who the editor at Time Magazine was on Joe Klein’s FISA column (the one Klein has now written about five times, fully admitting he never read the original bill). I finally confirmed that the editor was Priscilla Painton, and called her and identified myself. I asked her what the editing process was, and how a piece with so many errors made it into print.
That assumes that there are errors,” she said. And hung up on me.

Digby has a nice article about said editor. Now Rep Rush Holt one of the authors of the bill gets into the act.

As one of the bill's authors, I want to set the record straight about what's in the RESTORE Act, why it's needed to safeguard Americans from unwarranted surveillance, and ultimately, why it will lead to better intelligence gathering.

In his original column, Mr. Klein incorrectly wrote, "Unfortunately, Speaker Nancy Pelosi quashed the House Intelligence Committee's bipartisan effort and supported a Democratic bill that - Limbaugh is salivating - would require the surveillance of every foreign-terrorist target's calls to be approved by the FISA court, an institution founded to protect the rights of U.S. citizens only." It contains no such provision.

Now Klein could have just called the congressman himself and asked or perhaps one of his staffers but did not. He has admitted getting his info from republican staffers. I guess Kein does not feel the need to fact check them.

Glenn gets to the heart of the matter here.

It isn't enough to issue some obscure, clouded "correction" which creates the false impression there is some good faith dispute over what the House Democrats' bill does and that Klein and Painton just became understandably confused about such complex legalistic issues, all accompanied by a self-justifying, shoulder-shrugging "Hey-everyone-makes-mistakes" tone. The real story here is that Joe Klein's GOP source(s) blatantly lied to him about what this bill does in order to scare Americans into supporting George Bush's demands for greater eavesdropping powers.

Neither Klein nor Painton bothered to verify whether anything they were told was true. Instead, they mindlessly printed it with an accompanying article smearing Democrats as weak on national security and concerned with Terrorists Rights at the expense of protecting Americans.

In other words, the same corrupt propagandistic process that has driven so much of our reckless press coverage during the Bush presidency generated these outright falsehoods. How that happened and who was responsible -- as well as what Time's culpability is -- is the real story here. That is what Time has to answer. We ought to demand those answers from Stengel and Painton. It is flatly unacceptable to print outright lies as fact in order to mislead the country on such vital political matters and then refuse to account for what really happened.

Please read all the articles. It is important to understand where political stories and themes come about.
I believe marriage should be left to religion. If you want to get married, find a religious group that will marry you. I really do not care who wants to get married. It is your church, your religion, enjoy. As long as everybody is a legal consenting adult go for it.Two men fine, two women fine, multiple marriages fine, two wives fine, three husbands fine, I do not care what you do in your home and life. Now if the state wants to sanction one religion's marriage they have to sanction them all. That is why marriage should be left to the religions. Our founding fathers did not want religions to influence our government, because we would then argue over whose religion.

The New York Times has a Op-Ed by Stephanie Coontz today called "Taking Marriage Private"I thought was quite good go read it.

Hiking Can Be Dangerous!
Todays hiking news is not good: eighth and last body found, body found in Houston, and remains found in Hot Springs. The first link is pretty strait forward, hikers caught in a flash flood. The second, could be the body was dumped near a road. (Map) The third is just strange.
Around 11:00 a.m. Monday, the hiker went off the trail chasing a cat. The man discovered scattered bones, female clothing and other item around a ravine.

Scattered bones is just strange. It makes me think of bizarre occult rituals. Scary.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Winter of Discontent.

The unemployment rate in 1998 was only slightly lower than the unemployment rate today. But for working Americans, everything else was different. Wages were rising, yet inflation was low, so the purchasing power of workers’ take-home pay was steadily improving. So, too, were job benefits, including the availability of health insurance. And homeownership was rising steadily.

It was, in other words, a time when Americans felt they were sharing in the country’s prosperity.

Today, by contrast, wage gains for most workers are being swallowed by inflation. In fact, the reality for lower- and middle-income workers may be worse than the official statistics say, because the prices of necessities like food, transportation and medical care are rising considerably faster than the Consumer Price Index as a whole. One striking statistic: the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner was 11 percent higher this year than last year.

Go read the rest.

Trent Lott
It appears Trent Lott is resining. There is speculation that he wants to cash in but maybe it has to do with this.
Republican Primer

This should help you decide which repulican to vote for.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Joe Klein Republican Tool
The problems with todays news is that the opinion makers are all republican tools, whether they realize it or not. Glenn Greenwald takes apart Joe Klein.

In other words, Klein's GOP source(s) blatantly lied to him about what the bill does and doesn't do in order to manipulate him into uncritically feeding Time's readers the Rush Limbaugh Line -- namely, that Democrats are giving equal rights to Terrorists and preventing the Leader from eavesdropping on foreign Terrorists. And Klein dutifully wrote down what he was told in Time without bothering to find out if it was true and without ever bothering to talk to any of the bill's Democratic proponents.

What a republican tool.

That is the real story here. That's how our political system works. Scheming GOP operatives feed whispered lies to their favorite, most gullible, most slothful and/or dishonest Beltway journalists. Gleeful and grateful that they have been chosen for this dirty task, these journalists then scamper and write down what they were told and think that, by doing so, they are engaged in what they call "original reporting" -- which means uncritically passing on what they're told by government sources. As a result, they continue to obfuscate every key political issue and mislead Americans by doing the opposite of what journalists are supposed to do.

Read the rest.
Beware the Plethodon Nettingi

Cheat Mountain Salamander (4), originally uploaded by kwixted0.

There is an article in the Herald-Mail in Hagerstown Md, entitled "At Dolly Sods Beware the Plethodon Nettingi" The picture above is the dreaded plethodon nettingi. Lyn Widmyer ends with this graph:

I can deal with bears and mortar shells, but please, I prayed, don't let me wake up in the middle of the night with a Cheat Mountain Salamander in my sleeping bag.

I do not know about you but I am not worried about a salamander.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Malibu Fire

That is the sun coming up not the fire itself.

Full Moon

Full Moon 1st July 2007+, originally uploaded by cindytoo.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Scott Williamson

I met Scott at Crater Lake National Park, on my thru hike in2004. We had breakfast at Bascom Lodge. He was on his first successful yoyo of the PCT. He was very unassuming, laid back, and down right nice. Most of the hikers I have met that due big miles have big egos. Scott said he never did big days. Just thirty five miles a day.It was not cocky or any thing. Just a matter of fact. After breakfast he ate every bodies left over butter and did shots of syrup too. You really need calories to due those thirty five mile days.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Important Election Coverage

Alice's Restaurant
I was going to embed Alice's Restaurant but it has been disabled. I suppose everyone would have put it up today. So how about a song about Turducken.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Immoral Christians
Gotta love the mega church.
The shocking results of the paternity test are speeding up a transformation already under way in the church after more than a decade of sex scandals and lawsuits involving the Paulks, D.E. Paulk said.

Cotton Kills
Hiker suffering from hypothermia rescued from Appalachian Trail in Maine.

Senecal said hypothermia resulted from the combination of snowy conditions, dropping temperatures and the hiker's clothes being wet from sweat.

"This is just a warning that people need to be prepared and take the proper clothing," he said.

I do not know if he was actually wearing cotton but the expression has truth to it in certain situations.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Flying Spaghetti Monster

FSM_obey1, originally uploaded by ~C4Chaos.

The Church is going mainstream. I am surprised there is not a FSM pool at flickr.

Indeed, the tale of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its followers cuts to the heart of the one of the thorniest questions in religious studies: What defines a religion? Does it require a genuine theological belief? Or simply a set of rituals and a community joining together as a way of signaling their cultural alliances to others?


Last race of the season.
Baltimore Jack

Baltimore Jack, originally uploaded by myers2653.

The backpacking world is pretty small. There just are not that many of us but the world of politics is huge. Imagine my surprise when the two worlds collided this morning. I was reading at this at the Carpetbaggers Place and who should show up in an article but Baltimore Jack Tarlin.

Jack Tarlin, an independent voter, stood and told McCain that the polls show he would have the best chance of any of the Republican candidates to beat Clinton. “The news isn’t getting out right now,” he told McCain. “We don’t have a whole lot of time left till January.”

The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckerman thinks this might be a planted question like the one Hillary got caught with the other day. I think the Carpetbagger is pretty astute here:

Zuckman seemed skeptical, which is perfectly understandable given the circumstances. But I can’t help but wonder: maybe a lot of Republican audiences are just naturally sycophantic?

I have met Jack and he is a McCain supporter. I can tell you he is working to get McCain elected. To be clear, he is not working for McCain. He most likely wanted advise to help McCain win the primaries. I sent a link of the swampland article to him. I would like to see his reaction to this speculation.

Friday, November 16, 2007

No Sex Ed
How is that working in Alabama. Abstinence is not working down in the bible belt.
e age group most affected by chlamydia and gonorrhea is 15 to 19 year olds, followed by 20 to 24 year olds.
It seems that abstinence only for the past seven years is paying dividends.
Immoral Christians

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Republican Tools
Matt and Josh are far more insightful than I am. They see the same things I do but nicely. Josh has this to say:
Obama also had a moment when he went after Blitzer over his constant invocation of the presumption that no significant problems can ever be solved. But it was too fleeting.
S#%t he should have told him off but it was nice to see Obama call Blitzer out. Matt says what I think about Blitzer, but politely:
Wolf Blitzer's main interest is in asking questions designed to put Democrats on the wrong side of public opinion,
Oh it gets better
The point, after all, is to force a choice -- piss off an interest group, or say something that could be used in a GOP attack ad.
Josh has some of Wolf's questions at the end of his post that are just wrong.

1. Do you believe there are any times when abortion is killing a baby? Yes or No?

2. If a million people die in the next 9/11, would you be willing to chill out about torture? Yes or no?

Those last two questions are not asked to help the public make informed decisions. They are gotcha questions.

This should help you decide who should be president.
Immoral Republicans
Republican Senator David Vitter was subpoenaed for his use of prostitutes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mike Gravel

I hope these candidate endorsements help you make informed decisions about the candidates.
Tab Benoit

My Bucket Got A Hole In It

I hiked with Don Quixote In "06 on the AT. Don was fun to talk with incredibly bright and awry sense of humor. He is an Englishman, not British.I remember on the 4th of July he told me" It's not to late to come back to the commonwealth. All is forgiven. "

Immoral Republicans
Here is a great link to all the recent Republicans immoral sex. As Melissa says, there are two kinds of republican sex and they are both illegal.
Hang Drum At Pinnacle

This video was taken at the Pinnacle in PA on the Appalachian Trail.
Beer Goggles
Ezra and Matt are having some fun with beer goggles. Part of the report reminded me of a joke I told to Charlie Foxtrot(his polite name). Charlie is a British chap, I hiked with in '06 on the AT.
drinkers were more likely to rate someone of the opposite sex as attractive.
"Charlie you British chaps are alright . You drink enough beer and you will sleep with women."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Iran Not A Threat
Real experts on the Middle East do not seem to think Iran is a threat to the US. This article by McClatchy Papers is pretty good. It seems Rudy Giuliani's campaign adviser, Norman Podhoretz is the biggest hawk in the article. Podhoretz is a true radical. He has been wrong about the Soviet Union, Iraq and now Iran.
Would I like Iran to have a nuclear bomb? No," said Robert Jervis , a Columbia University professor of international politics who has written widely on nuclear deterrence. But, "the fears (voiced) by the administration and a fair number of sensible people as well, just are exaggerated. The idea that this will really make a big difference, I think is foolish."

Even some commentators in Israel , whose leaders see themselves in Iran's crosshairs, present a more nuanced view of the potential threat than the White House does.

Go read the whole thing.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I remember reading about twins and yams in Africa a while ago. I believe it was in a cookbook. Probably not your best source for scientific info. So, it is nice to see an article about it.

But West Africa bucks that trend, particularly with a much higher incidence of fraternal, or non-identical twins than in Europe or Japan. That is especially true, experts say, amongst Nigeria's Yoruba community which is largely concentrated in the southwestern part of the country where Igbo-Ora is located.

Overall, almost 5 percent of all Yoruba births produce twins, the Belgian study said, compared with just around 1.2 percent for Western Europe and 0.8 percent for Japan -- although fertility drugs in the developed world are changing those figures.

Important New Invention
A device to cool beer in seconds. It would be great for backpacking.
And the portable gadget, which has a cooling capacity almost four times that of regular ice with the advantage that it doesn't water down your drink, could spell the end of lugging a heavy chilly bin to the beach.
Hiker Rescue

This is a great video of a hiker being rescued by helicopter. I'm sure she did not care about the cost after a night in the cold.
When I was on the PCT, the Germinator was rescued by a helicopter. The first thing the rescue officer said was there would be no charge for the helicopter. The first thing the Germanator said was he would walk because he did not want to pay for the helicopter.
Update: Nacona's journal of the day the Germanator was rescued.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Vote Libertarian

Ron Paul Girl - Watch today’s top amazing videos here
This is the most sophisticated argument I have seen lately to vote libertarian.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gloom and Doom
I think of the plague as something from mid evil times but, an Arizona biologist likely died from the plague.
A wildlife biologist at Grand Canyon National Park most likely died from the plague contracted while performing a necropsy on a mountain lion that later tested positive for the disease, officials said Friday.

Yellowstone may blow.
A big blob of molten rock appears to be pushing up remnants of an ancient volcano in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, scientists reported on Friday.
Things are not going well in Afghanistan or Iraq this year.
The six deaths brings the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this year to at least 101, according to an Associated Press count, surpassing the 93 troops killed in 2005. About 87 died last year. The toll echoes the situation in Iraq, where U.S. military deaths this year surpassed 850, also a record.
We are having a hard time keeping our children alive.
The United States ranks near the bottom for infant survival rates among modernized nations.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Congratulations to Andrew Skurka on completing the Great Western Loop. A journey of 6,875 miles. A pretty good article in the Arizona Republic. It is nice to see a hiker getting some sponsorship even if it is from Go Lite. The folks at Go Lite once told Tuna "If you Go Lite you can hike more miles and get back to work faster." No one is in a hurry to get back to work.
It took me five and a half months just to do the Pacific Crest Trail part of The Great Western Loop. I'm Amazed by people that can do thirty plus mile days for months on end.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Immoral Republicans
The immoral Republicans hate children. How else can you explain this:
The nation’s top official for consumer product safety has asked Congress in recent days to reject legislation intended to strengthen the agency, which polices thousands of consumer goods, from toys to tools.
This summer I remember reports of lead paint in children's toys,nasty stuff in toothpaste. Now this:
WASHINGTON - Millions of Chinese-made toys for children have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a powerful "date-rape" drug when ingested.
They just do not want anything to get in the way of there corporate profits. Children's health is just not important to Republicans. Go read the first article. Guess how many inspectors there are for all those Chinese toys and everybody else's toys. Or you can find out at the end of this video

Hiker Found Dead
A hiker was found on the Ozark Highlands Trail on Monday. No signs of foul play.
Adelsberger was found lying atop a sleeping bag and under a tarp suspended between trees.
My condolences to his family.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tell It Keith

Go Watch!
Food Fight
The New York Times has a good opinion piece about the upcoming farm bill. It is written by Michael Pollan the author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and the forthcoming "In Defence Of Food: An Eaters Manifesto." It talks about the huge subsidies for commodities farmers and

or the first time, about $2 billion to support “specialty crops” — farm-bill-speak for the kind of food people actually eat.
Man do we have our priorities wrong in this country. Coke is the same price as water because of the subsidies.
Massive Beef Recalls
My buddy Pete wont eat ground beef. I can not say that I blame him. This past weekend there was a million pound beef recall from Cargill. This was just the most recent for them.
On Oct. 6, Cargill voluntarily recalled more than 840,000 pounds of ground beef patties distributed at Sam's Club stores
This is just small potatoes compared to the Topps recall in September
Topps Meat Co. has issued a nationwide recall for 21.7 million pounds of ground beef products following

Monday, November 05, 2007

Chef Finds Out That
He is an illeist. (one who refers to himself in the third person.) Over at Freakonomics, They have a cool post about Wordsmith. Wordsmith also has an internet anagram server, where you can find anagrams for cheflovesbeer, like: bee chefs lover or for eve belches.
Beer increase on tap?
I have seen a few articles about this lately it appears that there is or will be a shortage of hops. What kind of hops it does not say.
n 1994 there were 234,000 acres in the world, last year there were 113,000, this year there's 118,000 - that should say it right there," said Olson.
It seem from the article that hops production is up from last year.
The only thing we've had to change is now we have to secure an annual inventory," rather than just phoning suppliers when necessary, he said. "A lot's changed on the logistic front on how we're looking to get hops in the future
Maybe this will be a good thing if small breweries start working with small organic farms to ensure a supply of hops.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Mississippi God Damn

I did not hear of Nina Simone until after she passed on.But dig it.She is awesome.
Lion King

Lion King is hiking the American discovery Trail this year. My guess is he will still be hiking it next year. The American Discovery Trail stretches across more than 6,800 miles and 15 states, it has two routes. Lion King is taking the southern route.He is just about finished hiking through IN.
I first met Lion King in 1998 while I was hiking south and he was going north. He is a very memorable character . I most recently saw him at this years ALDHA gathering. He made a pretty good movie about the Appalachian Trail, Walking with Freedom.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Diet Coke and Mentos

How do people come up with this stuff?
Cephas and Wiggins